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Author Topic: Another DF phase come and gone, with some comments  (Read 3591 times)

Makbeth

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Another DF phase come and gone, with some comments
« on: August 05, 2013, 03:44:38 am »

EDIT: This post was too long, had some poorly and somewhat offensively worded objections to Toady's decisions about development, and then devolved into an unrelated and unfounded rant about the community after this point.  I should have recognized it but posted it while tired and frustrated with the game, without thinking about what I was saying.  I apologize for the wording and for making those generalizations about the DF community.

« Last Edit: August 08, 2013, 04:46:35 am by Makbeth »
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Putnam

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Re: Another DF phase come and gone, with some comments
« Reply #1 on: August 05, 2013, 03:55:02 am »

tl;dr, we're kinda elitist and worship Toady a bit too much.

...Yeah, but I'm not sure if I've ever really seen anyone defend the UI except to also defend elitism.

AutomataKittay

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Re: Another DF phase come and gone, with some comments
« Reply #2 on: August 05, 2013, 04:32:45 am »

Wow that's some generalization and long wording.

I can only speak for myself and gets the impression that you're trying to insult everyone on bay12 by generalizing us as a cult :D

The UI isn't as good as could be, but it's pretty difficult to design a good one that also gives good visual feedback. However, you're missing the greater issue in general, stimulation or even heavily building or adventuring oriented gameplay that DF deals with will never really be 'popular' because it need effort and a certain apperication to play it. It's not something that can just be picked up and played on a whim, none of game with similar kind of complexity and design can be. I'm not trying to be elitist, it's just type of thing that's never gotten truly popular in long run outside of certain crowds.

In short, DF will never appeal to majority just on basis of the game concept, UI's just a small aspect of general disinterest. Personally I hope that UI can be improved some, or at least get better key layout.

As for features being moved in and out, well, we don't know how Toady works. It is easier to disable certain features by commenting part of code out, but also difficult to remove all references, and possibly buggy or counter-productive to actually strip everything that's not currently working properly out. I'd imagine to strip out entity sprawl on the world map would also necessiate rewriting their civilization spread and resource base for no reason, while modifying the map for the construction itself's doesn't influence such thing.

And really, if you keep getting replused by DF, I'd suggest finding games that appeals to you more or avoid the site if we're giving you such a bad taste?

Then again, I'm probably wasting my free typing time on this rambling thng, huh?
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Skasi

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Re: Another DF phase come and gone, with some comments
« Reply #3 on: August 05, 2013, 06:36:57 am »

I think the DF UI is pretty good for a game as complex as DF. What I'd like to see is UI-moddability similar to the existing level of moddability of raws. Just thinking about other games. I can't think of a single one that is even just a little bit complex and has both a really clean (eg. clear, simple) and powerful (eg. not tedious) UI.
« Last Edit: August 05, 2013, 06:39:34 am by Skasi »
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Mayama

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Re: Another DF phase come and gone, with some comments
« Reply #4 on: August 05, 2013, 07:33:00 am »

The UI isn't as good as could be, but it's pretty difficult to design a good one that also gives good visual feedback. However, you're missing the greater issue in general, stimulation or even heavily building or adventuring oriented gameplay that DF deals with will never really be 'popular' because it need effort and a certain apperication to play it. It's not something that can just be picked up and played on a whim, none of game with similar kind of complexity and design can be. I'm not trying to be elitist, it's just type of thing that's never gotten truly popular in long run outside of certain crowds.

The UI is horrible and the game itself is pretty easy once you mastered the UI.
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Jelle

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Re: Another DF phase come and gone, with some comments
« Reply #5 on: August 05, 2013, 08:18:12 am »

Yeah I'm pretty much fully agreed with your points. Don't get me wrong, this is a fantastic game and I can but applaud the complexity of it, and its far from finished. Still, if it is to generate revenue (something I admittedly have not contributed much to yet) it is worth pointing out some issues that can impede this.

Not trying to incur the wrath of our resident fanatics here, I just want to add some constructive criticism to this discussion.
Actually I'll write down something here soon, not have the time right now.
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KingBacon

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Re: Another DF phase come and gone, with some comments
« Reply #6 on: August 05, 2013, 08:40:40 am »

Adding stuff is fun, but fixing/normalizing/redesigning UI when you are going to be doing major redesigns will lead to major productivity losses as things will be constantly changing.

I think the most Toady can do right now is ask the community to put together a basic training guide or mod the game to make it more accessible (LNP.) The wiki is great, but it can be too overwhelming. An official jump in guide available with or next to the download could help players get acclimated to DF's nuttiness.

« Last Edit: August 05, 2013, 09:38:28 am by KingBacon »
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Mopsy

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Re: Another DF phase come and gone, with some comments
« Reply #7 on: August 05, 2013, 09:40:16 am »

There are two kinds of DF players, those who think Losing Winning is fun! and those who think Ranting interminably about how DF must become more accessible because Toady would make more money and replacing the UI would only take an afternoon and all things must be convenient and have broad appeal and God hates games that are not accessible blah blah blah is fun!. Players in the former group think they are being respectful/patient/loyal. Players in the latter group think they are being candid/realistic/independent. In other words, DF is fun for everyone and lets everyone bask in their own excellence.
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sandant

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Re: Another DF phase come and gone, with some comments
« Reply #8 on: August 05, 2013, 11:48:51 am »

I have to say currently, without me going out of my way to be an idiot, I never lose fortresses, I adore strange moods and noble demands because it forces me to respond to strange situation with resources i may not have. My philosophy is this, I am going to ay a bit more then dive into mods, then Toady will release an update and I will return, but I have never faced UI difficulties. once you get a decent graphics pack the game is very easy to wrap your head around, and I have played to the point where I have all the Hot Keys memorized an I simply play full fortress view. If anything I find the UI pretty damn streamlined, and I don't want my construction done for me, sure it makes it quicker, but why would I want to remove my input from the video game that I chose to play? Hell sometimes it's fun to make your dwarves little houses instead of dorm rooms, it takes longer but the challenge often leads to some really coo looking fortresses with tons of varied different rooms, I find the game gets fairly cookie-cutter if you let it, and once you know how to win, you never lose and thus, NEVER, have fun, in either form. Because I have forts that "won", I could round up every civilian to be inside the walls, seal the fortress and Alt-Tab, come back with my grand-kids and show them the fort, the only thing stopping it would be as the Dwarves die of old age the new peasants the come from the kids will not have jobs designated. That isn't FUN, desperate sieges are FUN, Adventure and crazy megabeasts that is FUN, trying in blind desperation to meet the vague needs of a legendary Dwarf in a mood who you don't want to lose is FUN.

Yet, I find myself having to actively seek this FUN out, for as proud as the community seems to be about the game, I believe that 20 minutes of playing with that getting started wiki page open, and any player can make an exceptionally Stable fortress.  The game, for me at least, is just too easy as it stands, but I have hope, mods and my love of the idea of DF will keep me playing, and thanks to Toady and the excellent modding community, and hell, the community its self, I believe DF will only keep getting better and better.
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Antioch

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Re: Another DF phase come and gone, with some comments
« Reply #9 on: August 05, 2013, 01:45:14 pm »

I really agree with you, I would love it if even 2% of the time Toady spends on adding content and detailing simulations went into 'polishing' the game. DF has come to a state where adding content does no longer improve the game when it is accompanied by an improvement of the interface.
I totally agree with you that increase in simulation depth is pointless when it hurts gameplay. A prime example of this I found the way the damage system was remade about 2 years ago. The old system with a limited amount of body parts worked gorgeously. I really enjoyed reading what part of their body my dwarfs got amputated that day. But fore some reason it was decided that the top priority of what would make df better was to make it more complex with skin, hair etc. I ruined certain weapons for months and in the end it had almost zero effect on gameplay, it only added complexity for the sake of complexity.

Another feature that added realism but set back gameplay I think was letting immigrants migrate from known sites. I do not want legendary weaponsmiths as immigrants, that takes away all the fun of training them. Immigrants should be useless novice soapmakers.

« Last Edit: August 05, 2013, 01:48:54 pm by Antioch »
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theqmann

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Re: Another DF phase come and gone, with some comments
« Reply #10 on: August 05, 2013, 04:43:36 pm »

I would like it if a couple days a month were spent bugfixing old features that don't work right.  Examples being things like:
  • military equipping gear
  • military eating provisions in backpack/flask
  • military using weapon racks/armor stands/chests in the training room
  • hospital bugs (bringing all the thread in the fortress to the stash at the same time, including candy thread, also, dwarves get stuck on traction benches, other dwarves never get healed, just wait forever in the hospital)
  • justice system (hammerer using any weapon and usually killing the target, among other issues)
  • the older assigned positions (dungeon master, etc)
  • job priorities (like the trade depot job being lower than hauling crap, so all other jobs have to be turned off each time a caravan arrives)
  • the fort "economy" (which I've just about given up on, even though Toady has said it is still working)
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eccentric

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Re: Another DF phase come and gone, with some comments
« Reply #11 on: August 05, 2013, 05:03:59 pm »

Playing DF is like having a plate of pancakes, not so fast you can't eat them yet. Nope not yet, you need syrup first;
  • Get a hammer (war hammer if you're feeling dwarfy) and buckets lots of 'em
  • Tap some trees (wait for it...drip...drip...days pass...)
  • Collect the now full buckets
  • Boil it down over a woodfire (you were cutting trees down while you waited right...?)
  • Getting close but you're not done yet, boil it some more till it's just right
  • Then purify and bottle
After a weeks wait you can enjoy now your pancakes playing DF (if you like butter on your pancakes the cows out back...)

Making DF enjoyable requires 'DFHack' (falconne's UI plugins) a few other programs running in the background (plus 2 terminals), completely changing the graphics and a 1hr YouTube crash course (or reading the Book or DF wiki) Then and only then you can start to play and enjoy DF (in it's 'vanilla' form) and if you're like me it also requires an extra 30mins picking the right embark and a few hrs offline designing key areas of the fortress.

It's not a hard game to 'play' or understand, it's a hard game to get 'use to playing' I'm 30yo now, maybe when I'm retired and its at 1.0 it will different but till then it's still a great game...
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Vlad

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Re: Another DF phase come and gone, with some comments
« Reply #12 on: August 05, 2013, 05:48:26 pm »

I play the game with 3rd party addons such as DFHack and Dwarf Therapist. But I've only started using them recently to deal with my really large fortresses I like to make. I've played the game with no problem completely by itself. I can even play without tilesets if I have to.

I guess I'm one of those people who would rather see more content instead of ui improvements.

And about the hate on the "simulation" aspect of the game. I love DF for how it simulates pretty much EVERYTHING. One day I hope every item will be tracked and you can trace who made it and where it came from, I want multi-material items, I want all creatures to be historical figures, I want realistic sieges, I want smarter dwarves, I want how much blood a dwarf has to be tracked, I want....etc. Complexity should not be traded for instant "fun"

There's just a lot I want before UI improvements, which should come after version 1.0. New features and bug fixing are way more important to me.
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Bludulukus

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Re: Another DF phase come and gone, with some comments
« Reply #13 on: August 05, 2013, 08:00:26 pm »

I'm ok with the UI.
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Putnam

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Re: Another DF phase come and gone, with some comments
« Reply #14 on: August 05, 2013, 10:30:21 pm »

One day I hope every item will be tracked and you can trace who made it and where it came from... I want how much blood a dwarf has to be tracked,

The first I think is already there, but I'm not sure. The second is tracked in a number with an average of 6000 max for dwarves.
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